If you’ve ever tripped on an uneven sidewalk or an object on the ground while on a walk, you know the injury that can result. Trip and fall injuries are common among people of all ages and can lead to severe injuries, resulting in high medical bills and lost wages.
Irresponsible upkeep of property or other factors can lead to a devastating trip and fall injury. In Florida, a slip and fall injury falls under the concept of premises liability, a complex legal area. If you suffer serious injuries after a slip and fall, you may have a claim against the property owner or management.
Trip hazards exist in various locations, including your work environment, public or private venues, shops, and restaurants. Knowing these six common causes of trip and fall injuries in Florida can help you avoid them.
Inadequate lighting in staircases, walkways, and buildings is one of the top causes of trip and fall injuries. While OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) requires public properties and workplaces to provide enough lighting, this doesn’t always happen. Owners may get busy and fail to check on and replace faulty lighting promptly.
Failing to install adequate lighting can make it impossible for people to safely navigate an area. When a trip and fall happens due to poor lighting, you may be able to hold the property owner liable for the injuries it causes.
Uneven surfaces, including flooring, sidewalks, steps, thresholds, and other walking surfaces, are the most common cause of trip and fall injuries. These falls can happen anywhere.
Even when taking care as you walk, accidents leading to injuries can happen. If a sidewalk is all the same color, it can be difficult to see where one area is higher than the rest. If you injure yourself on an uneven surface, you may need to consider filing a claim.
Not only will you need the compensation to pay for your expenses, but your lawsuit could prompt the one at fault to correct the situation, protecting others from experiencing the same trip and fall that injured you or a loved one.
Walking along a floor covered in carpet, rugs, or mats can lead to falls. Rugs curling up on the ends or corners, wrinkled carpet, or thick mats can quickly catch your foot as you walk, causing you to go down.
Even with no floor coverings, loose floorboards can be a hazard. If not correctly nailed down or if they have water damage or rot, they quickly become a trip hazard for anyone walking in the area.
Obstacles or Clutter
Obstacles improperly placed in walkways, such as signs, merchandise displays, and cleaning equipment, can cause you to trip and fall. On worksites, tools or equipment may be left out temporarily or forgotten altogether.
Debris on the ground can also create an environment for accidents to happen. Whether it’s discarded packaging or other waste materials, debris can quickly clutter up walkways, sometimes hiding additional obstacles.
Work hazards vary depending on the industry and location, but many trips occur when trailing cords and cables are stretched along a walkway in a public area. As workers continue working, those cables or cords move with them, sometimes creating an unavoidable hazard for other workers or those passing by the area.
In many trips and falls, footwear plays a key role. The type of soles or heels you wear can catch or cause you to trip. Be sure to always wear appropriate footwear for where you are going and what you will be doing to lessen the possibility of injury.
Even if a dangerous hazard is in place and you trip, your footwear may become at least a partial cause of your accident. Florida recognizes comparative negligence in slip and fall lawsuits, and you’ll need the advice of an experienced personal injury attorney to determine whether you have a case.
While one of these causes is enough on its own, often, more than one contributes to a trip and fall injury. For example, an obstruction in the walkway may not be seen due to inadequate lighting. Discarded newspapers may cover up an elevated walkway entrance. There are many causes of trips leading to injury, and not all can be avoided.
Common Trip and Fall Injuries
Injuries suffered in trip and falls can range from minor to highly severe, with some requiring extensive, long-term medical treatment.
- Bruises, Cuts, and Scraps
If you’re lucky, your fall will only cause minor bruises, cuts, or scrapes. However, these can become infected if not treated right away.
Falls often lead to fractures or breaks. The most typical broken bones include hips, pelvic bones, arms, or legs. Any of these can lead to severe pain, various surgeries, and a lengthy recovery time.
- Shoulder and Neck Injuries
After a trip, it’s a natural reaction to attempt to resist falling. This overexertion or sudden moves can lead to various shoulder and neck injuries, ranging from sprains to dislocations, torn nerves, and even paralysis.
- Torn Muscles, Ligaments, or Tendons
Another injury from trying to prevent a fall is a torn muscle, ligaments, or tendons. Not only will you need immediate medical care, but many victims also require long-term physical therapy.
- Traumatic Brain Injury, or TBI
Trauma to the head during a fall can lead to concussions and more severe traumatic brain injuries.
Tripping and falling can also lead to spinal cord injuries, depending on the circumstances. Any of these can lead to long-term medical care and potentially a diminished earning capacity in the workplace. Financial hardship may result, requiring you or your family to file a claim for the highest amount of compensation available to ensure your future well-being.
Contact your Florida Trip and Fall Attorney Today Our La
When a trip and fall happens, determining who is to blame for your injury is the first step in deciding whether you have a case. There are several common causes of trip and fall injuries, and even though you may be careful, sometimes you cannot avoid an accident. If this happens to you, contact the experienced legal team with Jesse Davidson, P.A., to schedule a free case evaluation and consultation.